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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Many arrested, including women, for illegal religious conversion attempt to Christianity: Uttar Pradesh

Locals thwarted an attempt by the Christian conversion mafia to convert Hindus to Christianity in Azamgarh, UP. On Sunday, Police arrested four accused persons, including a couple of women, from the Andakhor village near Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. 

One of the accused, Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Delhi, had come down to Azamgarh around two months ago and is the suspected kingpin. He rented a house in Azamgarh and lived there along with the other accused, Ajay Kumar, Reeta Devi, and Geeta Devi of Azamgarh. 

SP Anurag Arya said that the accused used to invite locals and convince them to get converted to Christianity. Many visitors were lured with promises of money and other benefits and persuaded to convert to Christianity. Bilariyaganj station house officer (SHO) Vijay Prakash said that police are examining how many people the conversion mafia was able to convert. 

On Saturday, locals alerted the police that the accused had arranged a religious event in Andakhor village. Villagers alleged that the mafia led by Rakesh Kumar was using this program for religious conversion. Locals protested, and Praveen Kumar, a village resident, registered a complaint with the police. Police conducted an inquiry and found the allegations to be true. 

On Sunday, an informer alerted the police that the conversion mafia were present in the village and planned to escape from Azamgarh. Based on the information, police reached the spot and arrested all four. 

On Friday, 26 persons who tried to convert Hindus illegally were arrested from the Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh. The conversion mafia had gathered at a church in Hariharganj, and Hindu organizations protested and informed the police. Police raided the church and arrested the 26 accused. 

Police said they had received multiple complaints about Christians trying to convince and coerce Hindus to adopt Christianity in the Hariharganj area. All those arrested were either the ones who wanted to convert people or those who had already converted to Christianity. Police charged them with attempts to promote enmity between two religious groups and the anti-conversion law. 

Since the complainants were not directly affected by the conversion mafia, a local court in Fatehpur dropped the anti-conversion charges. Circle Officer Dinesh Chandra Mishra said that the court sent 17 to jail and granted bail to the rest.

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